|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 11
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BE INSPIRATIONAL NOT DIVISIVE (BOOKER T. WASHINGTON PART THIRTEEN)
John Wooden Video Clip (127 sec.): Coach Wooden talks about commitments and forgiveness. Pure Magic! Take two minutes.
Booker T. Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to several presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, he was the dominant leader of American educational innovation and reform.
Dr. Washington had a two-part philosophy. The first part was that he was constantly focusing on helping those less fortunate than him. Dr. Washington elaborated in his 1901 autobiography, Up From Slavery, how one of his mentors, Dr. Samuel Armstrong, the founder of the Hampton Institute, impacted his thinking:
"From his example I learned the lesson that great men cultivate love, and that only little men cherish a spirit of hatred. I learned that assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; and that oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak."
The second part of his philosophy was that he was unaffected by those who attempted to degrade him as he only returned their insults with love and/or pity as he stayed focused on his goals. Dr. Washington described the influence of Frederick Douglas, the leader of the original abolitionist movement, in this approach:
"This reminds me of a conversation which I once had with the Hon. Frederick Douglass. At one time Mr. Douglass was traveling in the state of Pennsylvania, and was forced, on account of his color, to ride in the baggage-car, although he had paid the same price for his passage that the other passengers had paid.
When some of the white passengers went into the baggage-car to console Mr. Douglass, and one of them said to him: "I am sorry, Mr. Douglass, that you have been degraded in this manner," Mr. Douglass straightened himself up on the box upon which he was sitting and replied: "They cannot degrade Frederick Douglass. The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are inflicting it upon me."
Mr. Washington wrote: "I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him."
The example of Booker T. Washington was always inspirational never divisive.
Do you Inspire or Divide?
Yours in Coaching,
What Makes An Artist?
We got to talking art one day, discussing in a general way
Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)
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